How do I get started as a mapmaker?

Assuming you want to create an interactive Green Map on our platform,  you can create your account on the Register page. You may need to check your Spam folder for the confirmation email.

In order to start creating maps, you first need to create a team that will own that map. To make a new team, click on + in the menu bar and choose Team, then fill in the fields.

After a team has been set up, you can create a map. To get to the map creation page, use the same + button and choose Map. We suggest reviewing the guides on our documentation website: https://docs.giscollective.com/.

Here's a handy new one page introduction

Need more detail? for New Mapmakers (although not yet fully updated): http://bit.ly/ogm2info

For returning mapmakers with data on our first mapping platform: https://bit.ly/ogm2renew

Learn more about this platform's history and purpose and explore the world of Green Maps at GreenMap.org, including our icons for sustainable living, nature, culture and social justice, as well as wonderful Green Maps and our impacts made in 65 countries.

What is a feature?

Features on the map include points (sites), lines (routes) and polygons (areas). Each Feature has a title, description and icons, and you can select multiple maps on which it can appear. Once published, Features are public on OGM2’s global map and on your own map (on our platform, or when embedded in other websites).

Features are often referred to as 'sites'.  

How do I make a map or feature public?

You will notice that the sites, maps, and teams added on the platform are by default private. In order to make them visible for users who are not logged in or not in your team, you publish them by making them public. Here's how:


  • While browsing a site, you can use the Make public button on the site's page.
  • While editing the site, you can use the is public toggle in the right pane (open with >> at the top right, if need be).
  • If you want to make more sites public at once, you can use the list view on the Browse Sites page: https://new.opengreenmap.org/browse/sites?viewMode=list . Select the sites you want to make public using the checkbox, and then you can publish them with the publish button from the bottom bar.
  • We recommend waiting until you have a handful of features on the map before making it public.


Go on the Edit page of the map, and use the is public toggle in the right pane. To find the Edit page, start at Browse and click the 3 dots ( . . . )by your map, then Edit the Map. View Features to see and edit all the sites.

How do I make it open to public participation?

We recommend setting up a Campaign (also known as Survey) for public participation to a map. Add the link to your map's description or make a QR code so it's easy to find. 

If a map is public, the public can propose sites for it by right-clicking the location on the map view and selecting Propose a site. These sites will be by default private, so that they can be reviewed by the map's team before appearing on the map publicly. The Map Team will receive an email when a site has been suggested.

For mapping events and team members using mobile phones, we suggest adding the map or campaign to your home screen for handy access.

How to set up a new Campaign. It's a quick way to engage more people, and survey them on suggested sites:

  • Top menu under the Plus > Campaign.  Select your team and the related map for site collection.
  • Image - sets the tone and can include text, QR to your website, etc      (Portrait (not landscape) - smaller loads faster ) 
  • Title - frames the campaign's purpose
  • Description - short, like a tagline
  • First Question - the answers appears on the site profile like a title, so encourage a place name or short answer
  • Second Question - longer text, smaller type
  • A line about the icons (could be 'chose one icon for each answer')
  • Optional icons - appear on the site profile 

Every feature (site) made with one campaign is like any other on your map, and it's in Private mode until the Mapmaker makes it public. Each feature initially has the same icon showing on the map. It can be edited (add the icon you want, drag it to primary position). You can have more than one campaign for a map. Consider one in a second language, for visitors or other audiences.  You can make a short URL (bit.ly) or QR code for the Campaign.

Teams: What levels of access are there within the same mapping project?

Access levels are defined per Team and apply to all maps and icon sets owned by the team. Within a team, a user can be a guest (can contribute to a map before publication), a member (can edit their own sites), a leader (can add + edit any site or map) or owner (this is the Mapmaker who can edit everything, and manages team + map + can add icon sets). We maintain a mapping of the rights based on these roles here. All sites include author’s name.

Is it possible to search and filter by icon?

Yes! On the main page, at https://new.opengreenmap.org/, when you click in the Search field you will get icon suggestions.  You can also click on "show all icons" and choose the one you want to filter by.

How are pictures stored?

Pictures added to sites, maps, teams, and icons need to be uploaded on the platform, and are stored in the platform's database. They are deleted once the record associated to them is removed, or when removing the picture with the delete functionality of the app.

How are the icons defined?

Icons are grouped in icon sets.

  • If you already have an Icon Set, add an icon to it from the + menu item, and then selecting Icon.
  • Or create a new icon set for the icon, from the + menu item, and then selecting Icon set.

What basemaps are used on the platform?

We currently offer by default the Open Street Map and MapBox basemaps. You can also add your own - see the question below.

Can I use custom basemaps?

Yes, setting custom basemaps is available. After you log in, you need to go to Manage > BaseMaps to add your own basemap.

How can I import and export data via CSVs?

You can find here a tutorial on import and export: https://docs.giscollective.com/en/manage/maps/#exporting-map-data

How does the partnership between the GISCollective, Tacit Design and Green Map System work to support Green Mapmakers?

As it grew to impact 65 countries, Green Map System has always worked in collaboration. When this NYC-based nonprofit became an open source organization in 2018, a Berlin-based start up, the GISCollective, offered to build a versatile mapping platform for local leaders of Green Map projects. The Scottish design consultancy Tacit Design joined this collaboration in 2021. 

Today, this Platform is the centerpiece of this supportive team, which offers training, strategy, custom design and local Apps alongside the Platform and Map Making tools which are free for non-commercial projects. We provide speakers, open office hours and continually develop our open source technology, iconography and tools to serve those working on big picture challenges as well as folks new to mapmaking. See Plans & Services and contact us.

How do I print? and choose designs for printed documents, are there templates?

Unfortunately, we have no print features. If you want, you can download the data(we support various formats) and import it to some other apps like ArgGis or QGis to create the printed maps. Until we develop this feature, we can offer bespoke design services to generate the map using a high resolution for printing. If you want to help you with this, we can give you a better estimation after we understand the complexity of your project.

What is an API token? How is it used?

An API token is a secret key represented by a long string of characters. It is used to authenticate and authorize access to our API (Application Programming Interface). APIs are interfaces that allow you to interact with our platform using a programming language like Python or Javascript. Our API is fully documented here: https://docs.giscollective.com/en/Rest-api/ using the open api format.

What happens after I create an attribute. Please help? 

Usually we use it by extending an existing icon and then defining attributes to it. This way all features using those icons will have the same attributes. We use this feature to add structured data to map features. This can be used to improve the search result, design better pages for your webpage, or maybe you want to have the feature information stored in a structured and consistent way across your map features. You can check a short description of how they are used in our guides here: https://docs.giscollective.com/en/Campaign-prep/#icons

How do I get the answer to a question not listed here?

If you have other questions, please contact us at hello@giscollective.com, we would be happy to answer them! Alternatively, if you have an issue with the app, you can raise it on our Gitlab issues list.

[16, 6, 1, 6]
[10, 6]
[10, 10]
[10, 20]
[10, 30]